What does a Sports Administrator do?

Dan Cavallari

Several job opportunities are available within the broad category of sports administrator. A sports administrator may be responsible for managing an athletic program at a high school, college, or university, or he or she may be responsible for running programs at a gym or fitness center. Other sports administrator positions may deal directly with professional sports teams; job responsibilities may include clubhouse management, player representation as an agent, contract negotiation and administration, equipment and facilities management, events coordination, and various other responsibilities that relate to sports and athletic operations. A candidate for such positions may or may not need a higher education degree, but a knowledge of and passion for athletics is a must.

A sports administrator may act as an agent, handling contract negotiations on behalf of an athlete.
A sports administrator may act as an agent, handling contract negotiations on behalf of an athlete.

A sports administrator may be responsible for the marketing aspects of a professional team. This may include developing promotions, press releases, websites, and advertising campaigns aimed at attracting fans to the team's games. A marketing sports administrator will more than likely conduct market research for a specific area and develop marketing strategies specific to that audience. He or she may have a hand in logo designs and placement, promotions within the community or on the national or international level, television commercials, radio spots, internet advertising, and so on.

Some sports administrators are responsible for marketing and publicity events, like autograph signings.
Some sports administrators are responsible for marketing and publicity events, like autograph signings.

Other types of sports administrator jobs will have more to do with the day-to-day operations of the team, organization, or company. The administrator may be responsible for day to day operations and management of other employees. He or she may also be responsible for maintenance of the athletic fields, courts, equipment, and so on. Professional sports teams will need administrators who will be responsible for vendors such as food and memorabilia as well; some administrators will be responsible for ticket sales, and management of fans while they are in the park, including security, ushers, and other staff that will interact directly with fans.

A sports administrator may be charged with overseeing an athletic program.
A sports administrator may be charged with overseeing an athletic program.

Administrators who work for colleges and universities may be responsible for recruitment of potential players and coaches. They may also have a hand in scholarship administration, salary negotiations for coaches and other professional staff, and development and enforcement of a code of conduct for both players and coaches. College and university administrators may also have to interact with other college administrators to deal with budget issues, staffing, revenue, and so on. At the high school level, a sports administrator may be responsible for drawing college recruiters to games, enforcing codes of conduct, and even coaching duties, when appropriate.

Wrestling is often offered in high school or college athletic programs.
Wrestling is often offered in high school or college athletic programs.
Sports administrators may work on promoting certain players.
Sports administrators may work on promoting certain players.
Sports administrators are tasked with attracting fans, and improving their experience.
Sports administrators are tasked with attracting fans, and improving their experience.

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Discussion Comments

whiteplane

I worked in the marketing department of a AA baseball team in Iowa. I was not the worst job I've ever had but it was not the best either.

The best part of my job is that we got to think up promotions like bobble head night or dollar hot dogs. Most of them were pretty traditional but we got silly with it a few times. For one game we invited anyone that wanted to come in a swimsuit and then we had the local fire department hose them down with one of the trucks. It was a blazing hot day and a lot of people came out.

But the worst part of my job was making cold calls trying to sell sponsorships or tickets or to rally any kind of support for the team. We were not doing so well financially at the time and we came across as pretty desperate. Sports administration is not all fun and games.

chivebasil

Athletics at every level are bigger than they have ever been before and so I would imagine that sports administration is a pretty big deal.

Ironically, I didn't get into college sports until after I left college, but when I was at Texas A&M I can remember that even from my outsiders perspective it seemed like sports dominated everything. There were huge ads for every game, radio and TV broadcasts, huge rallies, giant facilities and on and on. It takes more than a few people to keep this whole operation going forward.

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